Low Waste & Affordable Grocery Hacks
I used to dig through my cabinets every month and find all these old food that never ended up getting used and having to toss into the garbage.
It’s no wonder why I hear a lot of people complaining about how expensive grocery shopping can get. All I can see are hard-earned dollar bills getting thrown into the trash and contributing to more single use plastic waste or pollution.
I am here to drop some tips from my experience with meal prepping and grocery shopping. These are simple steps that you can start practicing on a regular basis.
Plan Your MealsStop waiting to see what you “feel like eating” on the day of and just plan your meals before you hit the grocery store. Planning out your meals will help you save so much time. You’re not losing your freedom of choice, you are simply narrowing down your focus to 2 or 3 ideas.
Find Recipes With Similar IngredientsStop trying recipes that are polar opposites! When I am looking at recipes online, I stick to meals that have common vegetables and spices. There have been way too many times I want to try an ambitious meal and I end up buying all these spices or sauces that I can’t use for anything else because none of my other recipes call for it.Many recipes call for veggies that can actually be interchanged. For example, a stir fry, is really just a free-for-all so you can essentially put whatever left over veggies from another recipe in it.
Don’t Buy BulkWAIT, WHAT?! I know what you are thinking, just hear me out! Shopping in bulk is a great idea if it’s your favourite product and you use it every day. For example, if you’re buying a bulk size bag of carrots and you only needed a couple of chopped carrots for your recipe, it could easily be overlooked and end up in the trash. You can definitely “use it for something else” but you should know in your mind what you are going to use it for before you make the purchase.If you are a chickpea fanatic like I am, buying non perishable items is a great idea to go bulk. I know I am going to use it very often so I am not worried it going to the waste.
Stick To The Grocery List & Grocery StoreEasy to say, hard to do right? The grocery store is literally designed to give you a hard time so you have no choice but to look at every thing in every aisle. It’s like the equivalent of youtube forcing you to watch an ad before you can press skip! I visit the same grocery store every time and I have most of the locations mapped out so I am not wasting my time nor money on things I don’t need.Grocery stores switch things around very often to throw you a curveball (so you will buy those damn chocolate bars you’ve been trying to avoid.) Most of the time, everything is in similar aisles so you can just grab what you need and go.
Skip The Empty CaloriesOk but for real, a bag of chips cost $5-7 on average. I can buy 5 apples, or A LOT of carrots for that same price. If you are a serial snacker, I urge you to take a copy of that receipt and just compare how much your snacks actually cost vs groceries bought for cooking. If that doesn’t bother you, then at least consider the nutritional value of a bag of chips over some apples.
Buy In SeasonAsk your local grocer or do a quick google search on fruits and vegetables that are in season. I’ve made many mistakes buying produce that end up going straight to the trash because it is not in season. It ends up bland, tasteless, bitter, too stringy/fibrous, or extremely sour.Produce that are in season are generally sold at a better price (because farmers are able to grow in abundance) and taste a whole lot fresher than something that was shipped in a container from another continent.
Hope you find this useful for your future grocery shopping needs. Keep every simple and minimal and you will find this whole process a lot more enjoyable and easier to manage.